Consumer Reports: Space Heaters

January 2, 2012 3:19:36 PM PST
Dyson is known for putting style into household appliances, first with its vacuums and then with its fans.

Now, the company is promoting a futuristic-looking space heater that consumer reports just tested. "Dyson Hot heats the whole room faster than any other," claims a video spot for the company's Dyson Hot space heater.

And the Dyson Hot sure looks good.

"What's not so hot about the Dyson is its price. At $400 dollars, it's one of the most expensive space heaters we've ever tested," said Consumer Reports' Bernie Deitrick.

So how did the Dyson Hot do in Consumer Reports labs? It passed this important safety test. A terry cloth is placed on the heater to see if it scorches or catches fire.

"The surface of the Dyson doesn't get so hot that you can't touch it. So that's not a safety risk," Deitrick said.

And it's got another important safety feature. It shuts off if it's tipped over.

But the remote presents a safety risk to young children. It has a small button-cell battery that's easily accessible and hazardous if swallowed.

"If you have young children, you should make sure that the remote is kept out of their reach," said Deitrick.

You can operate the space heater without the remote. This test assesses how evenly space heaters distribute heat. Sensors measure the temperature in different parts of the room. The Dyson Hot did an excellent job. But it didn't score well for noise.

"At its highest fan setting, the Dyson is one of the loudest space heaters we've ever tested," said Deitrick.

Instead, Consumer Reports says a better choice is this Vornado space heater. It's the TouchStone 500 Vortex Heat for $120. Even on high, it's not very noisy.

Whatever space heater you use, Consumer Reports says you won't see savings unless you turn down the heat in the rest of your house. And a reminder, never leave a space heater unattended. That's a safety hazard.

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